Anglican Parish of Derby and Blackville
[ You can click here to download a printable version of this Novena for in Preparation for Christmas]
A Novena (from Latin: novem, “nine”) is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in the Church, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks.
The original Novena, kept by the Apostles, Mary, and the other disciples, at the express command of the risen Christ from the day of our Lord’s Ascension to the Day of Pentecost, is described in Acts 1:4, 12-14. (The first recorded after the time of the Apostles is the one in preparation for Christmas)
BEGIN with this prayer each day:
O, LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO for our sake didst vouchsafe to descend from thy throne of glory to this world of pain and sorrow; who wast conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, and was made Man; Make, we beseech thee, our hearts a fit habitation for thyself. Beautify and fill them with all spiritual graces, and possess them wholly by thy power. Give us grace to prepare for thy coming with deep humility, to receive thee with burning love, and to hold thee fast with a firm faith; that we may never leave thee nor forsake thee; Who livest and reignest, world without end. AMEN.
THEN SAY the Great O Antiphon for the day. (see below)
ALMIGHTY GOD, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and ever. AMEN.
THE ‘GREAT O’ ANTIPHONS
O WISDOM, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
O ADONAI (Lord) and Leader of the house of Israel, who appearedst in the bush to Moses in a flame of fire, and gavest him the Law in Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
O ROOT OF JESSE, which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom Kings shall shut their mouths: Come and deliver us and tarry not.
O KEY OF DAVID, and the Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth; Come and bring the prisoner out of the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and the shadow of death.
O DAYSPRING, Brightness of the Light Everlasting, and Sun of Righteousness: Come and enlighten him that sitteth in darkness and the shadow of death.
December 21: Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle
O THOMAS DIDYMUS (‘The Twin’), to thee it was vouchsafed to touch Christ risen: Whom we petition, by His mercy from on high, to aid us in our miseries, lest we be doomed with the lost when the Judge appeareth.
O KING OF THE NATIONS, and their Desire, the Cornerstone, who makest both one: Come and save mankind, whom Thou formedst of clay.
O EMMANUEL, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations, and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God.
O VIRGIN OF VIRGINS, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.